Anti-Racism Is Becoming Troublingly Racist
You’re not supposed to talk about how frustrating it is to watch children screw things up.
You’re supposed to be patient when it takes them 17 minutes to tie their shoelaces. You’re supposed to applaud their migraine-inducing attempts to play the violin. You’re supposed to give your undivided attention as they tell stories that somehow lack a beginning, a middle, and an end.
But worst of all is when a child wants to “help” you with something. You know that accepting their help will quadruple the time, energy, and resources required to get anything done. You realise that it’d be far simpler to do the job yourself. You’re aware that they’ll get bored halfway through and give up. But what are you supposed to tell them? They’re so enthusiastic, so earnest, so eager to contribute. So you take a deep breath, grit your teeth into a smile, and watch them make a mess.
If you’ve been watching the trajectory of anti-racism over the past few years, you can probably relate. It’s become an exercise in patiently explaining things that should be painfully obvious. It’s an endless parade of clickbait headlines and performative outrage. It’s dominated by people who seem as if they want to help but are hopelessly confused about how to do so.
For example, Los Angeles private institution Brentwood School recently announced plans to segregate parent-teacher meetings by race as part of its (and I’m not kidding here) “Inclusive Excellence Racial Equity” initiative. White parents will meet with White teachers, Black parents will meet with Black teachers, Latino parents with Latino teachers. I presume that interracial families will need to separate in the name of progress.
Watching these “allies” blunder their way around the anti-racism landscape feels like watching a toddler trying to perform open-heart surgery. The stakes are too high. The mistakes are too costly.
If a child had an idea this asinine, it would be easier to cope. You could explain in clear, age-appropriate language why racial segregation is not the best path to…